Schober Organ Notes No. 66


Disclaimer: We accept no responsibility for any unfavorable consequences resulting from following our advice

The provider of the Message Board service of our Web Page went out of business as of March and as a consequence we no longer have a message board. Pete Stark our web master is trying to find another (free) provider. Hopefully he will succeed soon.

For this issue, I have quite a bit of material. Several members have contributed, and it is too much for one issue, yet too good to cut or shorten, so I am serializing one article and postponing another. (See below)


Our member Captain David Casteel (USAF) sent me a lot of interesting material about the Schober three manual Recital and Theatre organs which unfortunately never went into production. He was involved in voicing them to some extent. Unfortunately I have to postpone this portrait-story until the next issue of Organ Notes as I have no room in this issue.


Our member Richard Peterson who is restoring a Theatre Schober wrote the following: "Received the electrolytics and 2N4403* transistors and started working on the theater organ. The good news is that the transistors seem to replace the 046127's* just fine. The waveforms on the oscilloscope appear to be identical. The bad news is concerning the 30 year old carbon resistors. About 50 percent of them have increased in value to the point that they are way out of tolerance (up to 100%). So, back to the vendor for several hundred resistors. Fortunately, they only cost a penny a piece in lots of a hundred but the job is now a much longer time frame."

[The 2N4403 is a usable silicon replacement for the germanium Schober 046127 which is used in the majority of Schober organs that were designed using PNP transistors. It works as a replacement in many applications and its advantage is that it is quiet. The Schober 046127 is actually a germanium 2N404 marked with a Schober part number. AK]


Richard Peterson had another problem and shared his solution with us. He originally wrote: "Finished [restoring] the pedal generator board last night but the input is oscillating so have a bit of work on that one ..." In a subsequent e-mail he wrote: "... and I solved the problem with the pedal generator with a 120pf capacitor on the input to ground. The value of the capacitor is so small that it doesn't affect the low frequency pedal tones."


As many of you know, the original factory-made pedal clavier had flat leaf springs that broke after a period of use. (The later pedal clavier kit did not suffer from this problem). Schober came out with a Information Bulletin/kit, BN-039, which gave instructions for the removal of the leaf springs and their replacement with coil springs -- 32 each of tight wound expansion coil springs, screw eyes and #6 x 7/8 round head wood screws were provided. No mention was made of the size of the screw eyes and, more unfortunately, the spring size. As a consequence, anyone who has lately wanted to make this modification by just following the instructions has had to experiment with springs.

Fortunately, our member Charles Witherell had made this modification with a BN-039 kit. The carbon steel replacement springs of the kit also failed after a while. He replaced the Schober replacements with stainless steel (which last longer) springs of the same size. He sent me a replacement spring and a spring he now uses, so that I could measure them. The original measures 0.963" long (without loops), 0.306" O.D. and the wire thickness is 0.035". Charles now uses another spring because it is easier to find, not because he prefers it. It has a smaller diameter which makes it a little harder to fit over the screw eyes, but he writes that it works well. It measures 0.850" length, 0.237" O.D. and the wire is 0.032" thick. The package it came in is marked BERG, stock #SPR10-20 (there is also a 418-3133-M printed on the pack, I don't know what that signifies). Winfred M. Berg, Inc., 509 Ocean Avenue, East Rockaway, NY 11518, Tel. (516) 599-5010.

SELF PORTRAIT of Charles E. Witherell (Part I)

Organ Interests

Perhaps a word on my background would be helpful in understanding what led me to buy a Schober organ in the first place. Unfortunately, I do not have the electronics expertise, or genuine aptitude for it, that I sense exists among many of your readers. I have had courses in the fundamentals, own a good many books on the subject, and have various items of test equipment - many of them prompted by the ownership of the Schober organ. My field is engineering (B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Newark College of Engineering in New Jersey, with graduate study in metallurgy, materials science and law). I have worked largely in the field of metallurgical research and development, and did so for nearly 30 years in the New York/ New Jersey metropolitan area.

When increasing commuter traffic and a growing intolerance for the lousy weather in the region finally got to us, we moved to California where I have worked in generally the same field for the University of California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, retiring from there in 1990. We moved to the Monterey area from the San Francisco Bay area in 1992 where we have 3 acres surrounded by rolling hills - a pleasant contrast to the increasingly crowded urban sprawl of the Bay Area fed largely by the growing computer industry. I continue working in the engineering field with a consulting business here in the Monterey area, concentrating mostly on failure analysis and forensic metallurgy associated with product litigation.

My attraction and love for organ music, and music in general, began at an early age - probably through listening to church music. My parents attended every church affair there was and never used baby-sitters; so if the lights were on at the church, we were all there. I was fascinated with the sound and rumbling of the beautiful pipe organ there. When I got a job as a welder and machinist during WWII in a "war plant" I became acquainted with a co-worker who also shared an interest in and appreciation for organ music. He knew a lady who had several old foot-powered reed organs in an old barn in New Jersey. They were all for sale and I ended up buying one of them - a Wilcox and White organ with a natural oak console. The organ looked great, but its bellows were shot and its other innards had seen better days.

Without any expertise at all, and being a teenager to boot, I attempted to bypass the worn-out bellows with a jury-rigged connection using Johnson & Johnson adhesive tape to my mother's old Electrolux vacuum cleaner. This gave a mediocre vacuum, not nearly enough to make the reeds sound as they should have, and there were other leaks throughout the organ. The net effect of these attempts was a high level of personal frustration over being unable to get any decent level of sound from the thing and spending some 90% of my spare time trying to repair/restore the bellows and other faulty components. But an occasional brief period when I could make it through a short number without a serious air leak or other pneumatic/mechanical problem was sufficiently rewarding to keep me from sending the organ to the dumper sooner than I did.

My fascination with the organ persisted though, and took on even more exciting dimensions a few years later when our church hired a new organist - a 19 year-old organist who was not only the most gorgeous girl I had ever seen but - even at that young age - was an accomplished master of the pipe organ! She was able to get the grandest sounds out of that 1920s Moller in our church that nobody ever realized had been hidden within that box of pipes. We became very good friends, even though I was
a few years younger, and a few years later she became my wife. We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last November.

For various reasons, a few years before we were married in late 1950, we left that church in the city with the old Moller organ. Also about that time, I was called to serve in the Korean War and spent 19 months overseas with the U.S. Army Engineers in Korea (1951-1952). On Sundays, I played an old GI field organ for our battalion's church services, as well as for several Armed Forces Radio Service programs during the week that were broadcast to the troops throughout Korea.

Before my military service, however, and before we were married, we pooled our meager financial resources and purchased a new Hammond (C? Model) electric organ, which just barely fit into the narrow living room of the house where my wife-to-be lived in Jersey City. The Hammond served well as a practice instrument for my wife while I was away in the service and in between church organist jobs in and around the area. Although we moved out of the city upon my graduation from engineering school in the late 1950s, we kept the Hammond up and running and both played it frequently."

(Continued next issue: "Building the Schober Recital Organ")

Recital Organ Block Diagram

Member Max Cannon drew up a great block diagram for the Recital. Pete Stark drew one for the Theatre quite a while ago and included it in his Tech Notes #6. Anyone wanting a copy of either, send me a SASE. (see address, page 4)


Disclaimer: Any deals, making of payments, receipt of payments or verifications are strictly your responsibility.



Wurlitzer Electrostatic Organ of the type manufactured in the 1950's and early 1960's. This organ had a bank of 73 or 85 reeds all blowing simultaneously in a soundproof enclosure. Individual tones are formed capacitatively by keying a polarizing voltage to one or more pickups associated with each reed. I would prefer a console with 25 or preferably 32 pedals, but would consider a spinet also. Please note that I am specifically not interested in the earlier style of Wurlitzer electrostatic reed organs in which the individual reeds were sounded by a pallet-valve system. If you have any information on such an instrument, send it to Eric C. Larson: E-mail:

Information Wanted

Larry Blyly writes: Our local high school has a fight song entitled "Side by Side and Stepping High." (If I knew how I would put in a bar or two of the music.) It was introduced in the late 1930s. A dispute has developed over the origin of the lyrics. Certain individuals claim they helped write them. I dispute it, because the words are entirely "generic." I really don't know how to pursue finding the real origin of the music and words. Doing a "search" we found a Texas high school with the same lyrics on their website. The website is now closed but the music is still shown at:

They don't know the origin either. At this time only hand written "parts" are existing. Perhaps you could insert a query in the newsletter. Someone out there might have heard the song at still another school. Or perhaps someone can help us determine how to find the origin. Just a trivial project, but isn't that what orphan-organ owners are interested in? Hartford, MI, E-mail:

For Sale

Digital Multimeters: Keithley model 168, auto ranging with red LED display, operating instructions on bottom, $40 or best offer. Simpson model 467 non-auto ranging with LCD display, 10 amp shunt and high voltage probe. $40 or best offer. Hickok model 380 auto ranging frequency counter with 80Mz range. Like new with factory carton and manual. $60 or best offer.  Alan McFarlane, 1609 S. 7th St., Aberdeen, SD 57401, Phone: (605) 225-2410, E-mail:



The documentation for the BUILT IN speaker system for the Consolette II. If you have anything on it, please let me know. Alexander Kruedener (see address, page 4)


Schematic diagram for the PTR-5 (not 5-A) Preamp Vibrato Board. Alexander Kruedener (see address, page 4)


A Preamp-Vibrato Unit (PTR-5 or PTR-5A) for a Schober Theatre Organ. If you can help our member Richard Peterson, please contact him at: 50 Spring Meadows Drive, Ormond Beach, FL 32174, Phone: (904) 673-6981, E-mail:


Dick Stallings writes: "Wanted: Tripper Combination Action for the Recital organ complete with thumb and toe pistons, all wiring harnesses, etc. so as to have a complete working installation. This would be everything that came in the original Klann OrganSupply Co. kit that could be installed at any time after the organ was built." Contact: Dick Stallings, PO Box 307, Pinetops, NC 27864, Phone: (252) 823-5166, E-mail:


The switch actuator (the metal/plastic part that the stop tabs are pushed on to in the Recital and the Consolette II). Contact: Richard McBeth, 1967 Fay^-s Ln., Sugar Grove, IL 60554, E-mail:


A PRCN-3/PRRN-3 percussion board. (The original single board percussion  system). Alan McFarlane, 1609 S. 7th St., Aberdeen, SD 57401, Phone: (605) 225-2410, E-mail:

Theatre Schober

A Theatre Schober with Reverbatape, Dynabeat, etc. is available in Toledo, Ohio. Contact: Allan W. Inks, E-mail:

Recital Available

In Ypsilanti, Michigan, 30 miles west of Detroit and 8 miles east of Ann Arbor. Contact Dallas: Phone: (734) 482-3854, E-mail:

Recital Parts Available

Dudley is parting out a disassembled Recital. Both the electronics and, structural. Contact him at:, E-mail:

That's it, Folks ...

.. for another issue. Address all correspondence to the "Head Honcho": Alexander Kruedener, 161 East 89 Street, Apt. 4E, New York, NY 10128, (212) 831-0662,